A new product has been developed that promises to produce better results for hair loss sufferers, with fewer side effects than existing products.
Bimatoprost has been developed by Allergan, most famous for their wrinkle-freezing product Botox, and was originally used as a glaucoma treatment, before doctors noticed that it was also lengthening the eyelashes of the glaucoma patients using it.
Tried and tested in other forms
Not only has Bimatoprost been around for a while as a treatment for glaucoma, but since the discovery of the effect it has on eyelashes, it has also been available for several years as a product to lengthen and enhance eyelashes – its brand name for this purpose is Latisse.
Can be used by both sexes
Because some hair loss products are hormone-based, this means they are only suitable for one gender – usually men. However, there are many female hair loss sufferers the world over, and as they have fewer options in terms of hair restoration techniques – hair transplant surgery is rarely an option for women – any topical product that can be used by women as well as men is bound to be popular.
Does it work?
Clinical trials suggest that Bimatoprost is effective in stimulating hair growth, although its results appear to be only marginally more impressive than its closest competitor, Minoxidil (brand name: Rogaine).
Bimatoprost as a hair restoration treatment has yet to hit the market officially.
What other options are there?
In terms of topical medications to treat hair loss, the most effective that is currently on the market is Minoxidil. This can be bought over-the-counter in lower concentrations, as the brand Rogaine, or can be prescribed at a higher dosage by your doctor.
There is an oral hair loss treatment available, Finasteride, which is known to break down testosterone before it turns into DHT, the hormone that causes hair follicles to weaken. However, because this is a hormonal treatment, it can only be taken by men and although side effects are rare they include serious problems such as erectile dysfunction and an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Other possibilities include hair transplant surgery (again only really suitable for men) and scalp micropigmentation, where pigment is injected into the scalp at various angles and depths to create the effect of a full head of hair that has been shaven close to the head.